Former Rep. Michael Grimm gets 8 months in prison for tax evasion

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NEW YORK — Former Congressman Michael Grimm was sentenced to eight months in prison Friday after he pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

Federal prosecutors had asked a judge to sentence the Staten Island Republican to at least two years behind bars. His lawyers had sought probation.

The Staten Island Republican pleaded guilty late last year to aiding in the filing of a false tax return. Grimm, 45, won re-election in November, but resigned after his guilty plea.

In addition to serving eight months behind bars, Grimm also was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

The conviction is related to Grimm’s Manhattan restaurant, Healthalicious. Prosecutors said Grimm under-reported the true amount of Healthalicious earnings and used a portion of that unreported money to pay his workers “off the books.”

Because he also failed to report those cash wages he was paying the workers, Grimm’s restaurant paid lower federal and state payroll taxes.

In all, Grimm concealed more than $900,000 in the restaurant’s gross receipts from an accountant who prepared and filed the eatery’s tax returns, prosecutors said. The move cost the New York State and federal governments between $80,000 and $200,000 in tax revenue, prosecutors said.